To gain a deeper understanding of the operation of a thermoelectric couple a set of analytic solutions have been derived for a variable material property couple and a transient couple. Using an analytic approach, as opposed to commonly used numerical techniques, results in a set of useful design guidelines. These guidelines can serve as useful starting conditions for further numerical studies, or can serve as design rules for lab built couples. The analytic modeling considers two cases and accounts for 1) material properties which vary with temperature and 2) transient operation of a couple. The variable material property case was handled by means of an asymptotic expansion, which allows for insight into the influence of temperature dependence on different material properties. The variable property work demonstrated the important fact that materials with identical average Figure of Merits can lead to different conversion efficiencies due to temperature dependence of the properties. The transient couple was investigated through a Greens function approach; several transient boundary conditions were investigated. The transient work introduces several new design considerations which are not captured by the classic steady state analysis. The work helps to assist in designing couples for optimal performance, and also helps assist in material selection.